Since the beginning of the year imports of pork, ham and bacon have risen by almost a third, with up to 10% of these products are wrongly labelled, according to the organisation which owns the British Quality Standard Rosette for pork and bacon.
Chairman of the National Pig Association, Stewart Houston, said: “A company can be using British meat to produce products but may also be using foreign meat. They don’t have a say where it’s actually from.”
Houston urged consumers to look for the British Quality Standard Mark and the Little Red Tractor logo “every time” they shopped for pork, bacon and ham.
The pressure of imports has caused prices to drop by 20p per kilogram, meaning that many farmers are only just breaking even, he added.
Detailed spot checks are now being carried out on both processors and abattoirs to check the traceability of their meat. Similarly, the NPA is also investigating the use of “English sounding” brand names to sell pork products from overseas.